A Quick Look-See
By: George Argyropoulos
Again, an FM change. Again refits. But wait... there's MOAR! The Mono gets a change! What's that? Your speed-tuned fleet doesn't work now? Your Zelos is lagging behind? Let's go refit... O wait... there are escalation weapons in the FM this week for our Raid fleets... ***grumblegrumblegrumblegrumblegrumble***
Yea, it's been one of those weeks in Battle Pirates land again. I'm not sure how much more of this the community can take. On the one hand, if you refit for the 'old' 115, your fleet should be doing passably mediocre at least in this version, unless you had a speed-tuned Zelos... then you're going to be driving a bit to keep it ahead of those 'speed improved Monoliths'. Even with the heavy priority on penetrative damage on my fleet, they could pull out a couple 115s passably well. Given how many I needed, that wasn't acceptable so I, of course, started refitting (to the detriment of my Raid fleet).
Side Note :
Before I kick in on the 115 and the changes, I do want to take a minute and express my utter disappointment with the 89 target. It was excessive upon introduction and it remains excessive. This is a 'low' level target that players were relying upon in order to get themselves established or caught up in the FM. The fact that you can't pull these off with T2 tech or below is deplorable. At a BARE minimum, the Trident should be put into T1 so players have a fighting chance of climbing up out of the abysmal ranks of less-than-mediocrity. This is supposed to be a game. If you can't even see the possibility of parity on the horizon, why would you continue to engage? Just sayin'... that has GOT to be looked at.
Back to the 115 and the changes. The first thing that threw me for a bit of a loop was the changes to the Gridiron and Monolith blueprints. The removal of the horrendous speed up - slow down mechanic, I'm fairly confident, was universally rejoiced. It made sense. It made sense to get rid of it the minute we saw it in action when it was released. I'm not sure exactly why it took this long, but I am pretty happy about it finally coming about.
The other change however was not met with the same universal enthusiasm. A speed and turn buff were applied to the blueprints bringing them up to match the Zelos. The problem with this is that many players, including myself, fine tuned their builds so that they would either stack or trail precisely when driving. This threw everything off. To add to this dilemma, there was only 1 Zelos token available in the FM instead of a plurality of them as we were led to believe.
Add to this mix the release of the escalation weapons and we have yet another pressurized week in the game. I really enjoyed the raid as that pressure did not seem anywhere near the levels it had been in previous raids, nor the previous week in the game... or maybe the previous week just made me perceive it that way... either way, I enjoyed the hell out of the raid and then heaved an ample sigh when this all came out. Ah well... on to the good stuff!
Regularly Scheduled Program :
Many of you noted when the 115 first came out a few weeks ago, I mentioned something about an offset dual Zelos/Mono fleet. Originally the fleet was designed to mitigate the insane missile volleys from the fleets in the original 115 and to take advantage of both the stacking aura of the Zelos (primarily the accuracy buff) and the incorporation of a second duality CM into the fleet. Thankfully, the change to the 115 did nothing to mitigate the effectiveness of this design theory. In fact, I didn't have enough tokens for a second Zelos and needed the tokens from the FM, so I instead took the theory and applied it to the fleet I had on-hand first. It worked like a charm. This is the design of the fleet from the video of a no damage single Zelos run I posted up Wednesday when the 115 came out.
This is actually a better fleet to explain what I'm doing than if I just went to the final fleet build, so bear with me a moment. Let's start with the Zelos.
The Zelos lead has a bunch (maybe too many?) of gales. It also has a CM special to increase the range of the Phalanx, Gales and Duality. This is rather important because...
The big gap in the CM ranges allows the gales to easily fire first at the UAVs thus giving you multiple chances to shoot the little buggers down. If you don't happen to get them with the Gales, when they get into range of the Sprints, they have a go as well.
That's the theory behind the basic mechanics I wanted to manipulate. A single Zelos and four monoliths performed very well in the 115 if you kept moving. The problem was the damn Arc missiles just were not getting shot down. Which meant that you had to drive the fleet like you stole it, like so:
The Dual Offset Zelos :
This was the test mule I put out as quickly as possible this week:
Now that I knew the theory was sound I had to refit. Thankfully I had Mono tokens and I had my Zelos T2 tank I had built for an 88 NOOB article. I got some basic refits done and the second it came out, I had to try it. No armor, missing some CMs but... this was the result; Another perfect run:
If you look at the build, you'll see the same thought process I mentioned above. The speed of all the hulls is tuned such that the lead Zelos should drive in front, giving it a hair more of a lead for the Gale and Phalanx CMs and keeping any enemy missiles firing at the Zelos instead of the Monos. The second Zelos is the slowest, but loaded with as much projectile speed and reload as possible for the Sprints to react and fire on any rockets. This also keeps both Zelos hulls in each other's fields so that they both get the accuracy buff of one another as well as being within the duality CM ranges.
Of note- I did refit my Monos so I could get damage up since I was running only 3 now. Again, the intended final fleet build is at the end of the article.
Ok, look, this isn't ideal. We really shouldn't have to run two tanks in order to pull off runs like this. We invested in these fleets in either time or coin and with the last two changes to the FM, it just doesn't seem like I've gotten the promised value from my Garrison raid fleet. Regardless, the offset dual Zelos fleet works amazingly well in these targets. Hope this helps!!
The build will eventually end up like this: OFFSET DUAL ZELOS BUILD